Publication Process

University of Lethbridge Publication Process [Updated September 2011]

If your Faculty/School/Department/Unit needs a publication for an external audience, your very first step is to contact the Communications Office.

Developing a publication is a collaborate process shared between the Faculty/School/Department/Unit in need of the publication (the Client) and Communications with the common goal to develop a publication of the highest quality that meets Faculty/School/Department/Unit objectives while meeting institutional priorities and advancing the mission of the University of Lethbridge.

Roles and Responsibilities – Communications Office

Communications is a resource and provides strategic counsel to the Client throughout the publication process – from concept to distribution.

The Communications Office is the central communications unit for the University. The Communications Office oversees all external communications and manages the institution’s publication schedule. This ensures that the development and distribution of publications across the institution are timed to:

  • Maximize impact (in order to increase the frequency of communication with external stakeholders, we don’t want all publication from the U of L to come out in the same month)
  • Create efficiencies (Communications can let you know if another department also has an out-of-town photo-shoot planned with whom you can split travelling expenses; if an article has already been written that you can repurpose; or if there is a way to combine a mail out to save on postage expenses – just a few examples).
  • Manage human resources so the writers, photographers and designers are not working on too many projects at the same time.

The Communications Office ensures publications are on brand and on message, are inline with institutional priorities and reflect institutional quality.

The Communications Office provides the final stamp of approval on all publications.

Roles and Responsibilities – The Client

The Client is the project manager for publications for her/his Faculty and is responsible for the coordination of the publication.

The following publication checklist provides detailed step-by-step information.

Publication Checklist

1. Meet with Communications to:

  • Define overall publication purpose; identify key audience(s).
  • Determine the issue’s overall theme and state specific objectives.
  • Identify key messages that need to be incorporated in the articles throughout the publication.
  • Identify stories that will support overall theme and accomplish objectives.
  • Discuss budget and timeframes.
  • Discuss printing and distribution options.

2. Develop a storyboard, critical path and project budget. Communications will provide templates.

3. Arrange for printing and distribution.

If you are printing quantities larger than what Printing Services can deliver and need to print your publication off campus, Communications will provide you with contact info for external printers. If your print job exceeds $15,000, you will need three competitive quotes, or you will need to contact Materials Management and put the job out to tender.

All printing and distribution costs come from the project budget.

4. Get sign off on the storyboard, critical path and project budget from your Dean or Director.

5. Get sign on the storyboard, critical path and project budget from Communications.

6. Contact all people to be profiled in the publication and confirm their participation in the publication – this includes being interviewed by a writer (sometimes in person, sometimes via the phone/e-mail, depending on circumstances), and having their photo taken. Once the profiles confirm, let them know when they can expect to hear from the writer, who will arrange the interview, and the photographer, who will arrange the photo.

7. Send out FIOP forms to students and alumni, and collect and file the completed forms. You will need to send FIOP forms to all students and alumni who are profiled in your publication. Download standard FOIP form here - FOIP_Form.pdf

8. Develop a “Writers’ Brief” that provides the following information:

  • Defines the publication’s purpose, identifies audience(s), themes and objectives.
  • For each article, identify the focus of the article and key information/points the article needs to include.
  • Also include:

i. Person(s) to be interviewed and contact info (phone number and e-mail address).

ii. His/her full name, degree(s) and other related credentials.

iii. Brief background info, web site addresses, previously written content, if available.

The writers’ briefs are a lot of work, but keep in mind, the time put into writes’ briefs upfront will save time in editing and revisions later. Communication will provide feedback/consultation on Writers’ Brief.

9. Assign stories and arrange for design. The Communications Office has a bank of approved writers and designers, should you need to contract out work. The Communications Office has already negotiated rates with these writers and designers.

The Communications Office will provide writers’ contracts, which you will need to update for your publication, send out and collect and file the completed contract. Please Note: Any writer or designer not on this list needs to approved by the Communications Office prior to hire.

10. Coordinate the story editing process. This includes making and tracking revisions, getting approvals and filing final approvals. More specifically:

  • The freelance writer will send the Client the first draft of the story, which the Client and Communications will both review.
  • Should major revisions need to be made to the article, the writer will be responsible for revising the story.
  • Once Communications and the Client are satisfied with the story, the Client will send the story to the person(s) profiled to review for accuracy and for approval.
  • The Client will track and make all revision.
  • Send a “final” version of the article to the person(s) profiled for their final approval. A record of the final approval needs to be filed
  • Prepare the final article to design. This includes all proof reading and fact checking, and ensuring articles are complete with headings, pull quotes, deks and captions.
  • Please Note: All stories must follow CP Style and adhere the University of Lethbridge Style Guide.

11. Coordinate Photography:

  • Set up a meeting with Communications and the Photographers to discuss the publication, photo concepts, timeframes and expenses.
  • Whenever possible, stories need to be written prior to photography. All photography expenses will come from the project budget.

12. Coordinate Video, if necessary. Should you require video to use on the Web or for other purposes, CRDC provides video services. Communications can help you with your interview questions to ensure your video is on message and on brand. Generally, video takes place at the same time as photography. All video expenses will come from the project budget.

13. Coordinate Design:

  • Set up a meeting with Communications and the designer to discuss the publication, design concepts/requirements, timeframes and expenses.
  • You will need have your storyboard complete for this meeting.
  • Send all final content and photos (not on gallery) to designer.
  • Consult with Communications on design drafts and coordinate all design changes with the designer.
  • All design expenses come from the project budget.

14. Proof-read/fact-check: The Client is responsible for proof reading and fact checking the publication.

  • If the Faculty Communications Officer has indesign, he/she can make all text changes to the file, otherwise the Client will need to work with the designer to make text changes.
  • Once the publication has been thoroughly proof read/fact checked, Communications will review the publication.
  • The Client will coordinate all final text and design changes.

15. Sign-off: get sign off from your Dean/Director.

16. Sign-off: get sign off from Communications.

17. Sent file to print! The designer is responsible for prepping the file and sending it to print.

18. Review final proofs from Printer. The Client and Communications will review the colour keys/final proofs. The Client will coordinate all final changes.

19. Distribution: The Client is responsible for arranging for addresses/labelling and distribution of their publication. All distribution fees will come from the project budget.

For an internal distribution, contact Mail Services to arrange to have your publication delivered on campus.

20. Handle and submit invoices: All writing/design/photographer invoices will be sent to the Client. Check the invoices for accuracy, ensure all work has been invoiced, and submit invoices to the appropriate person in your department. If printing and/labelling is taking place on campus, you will need to arrange for a printing requisition form. If printing and labelling/distribution is taking place off campus, you will need to arrange for a PO number, and submit invoices when you receive them.

21. Arrange to have the publication on the Web. Communications can arrange for your stories to be run on UNews and Communications can upload the final publication files for you to the university's Issuu account (online flip book, see for examples).

Important Note: All articles and photographs are property of the University of Lethbridge and can be reused in any other institutional publication, advertisement or medium.


Storyboard Template - StoryBoard_Template.pdf

FOIP Form - FOIP_Form.pdf

Writers' Agreement - Writers'Agreement.doc

Writer's Brief - Writer¹s Brief Template.pdf

Signatures Template - Signatures Template.pdf